March 18, 2022
AN ARTIST'S PLACE
Photography by Simone Batini
Story by Karin Svadlenak Gomez
The picturesque and stunning landscapes of Tuscany, Italy, have been immortalized in photographs by the renowned landscape and documentary photographer Simone Batini. For the summer of 2021, however, Batini set off on a new creative journey to take part in a unique project – to capture the creative process and environment of the renowned artist Emanuele De Reggi in the town of Pietrasanta. The result of this passionate undertaking is nothing short of captivating; a photo essay that is both beautiful and poignant, showcasing the artist’s skill and expertise in his craft, as well as the unique atmosphere that envelops him as he works. With his signature moody photography, Simone Batini has captured something really special with this series, presenting us with a glimpse into the creative world of Emanuele De Reggi.
"An artist is someone who never stops the act of observation, he nourishes himself with everything at any time and attempts supreme awareness of it within his own artwork."
Emanuele De Reggi
Simone wanted to document the creation of art and to experience it, and in the first part, the series describes the processing of various materials, including marble, wood, wax, bronze, etc. that come to life from the expert hands and techniques that this artist has learned and refined over the years, in the second part the photos show us some moments of daily life in the artist's house, which is next to the workshop. He is surrounded by various works, accompanied by art in his everyday life.
Emanuele De Reggi is a well known Italian sculptor, painter, and photographer. He was born in the home town of great art, Florence, and his grandfather Emanuele Cavalli was also a well known painter of the Roman School art movement. His artistic career took him around the world, living in various countries throughout his career. After his first world tour following his graduation from secondary school, De Reggi took art classes at the Free School of Nude in Florence, but returned to live in Australia for three years. It was there that he began his work as a sculptor, carving large wood figures. On his return to Pietrasanta in Tuscany in 1984, De Reggi began perfecting his sculpting skills in a collaboration with the sculptor Giulio Ciniglia. Soon life took him to foreign fields again, living in New York and Barcelona for a number of years. In 1990, however, he set up his own artist studio in Pietrasanta, where he still lives and works today, albeit interrupted by stays in Bangkok and other places.
De Reggi's work comprises wood carvings, stone sculptures, bronze casts, iron sculptures, sculptures in burnt clay (terracotta), as well as an amazing array of drawings and paintings. His works have been widely exhibited, both in different Italian cities and around the world, including in New York, Geneva, and other places. His sculptures can be found in public places, such as two commissioned large statues in the city of Newport News, Virginia, and a prize winning fountain sculpture for the fountain of Ostellato main square in Ferrara.
In an interview for the Italian culture magazine "Prometeo" in 2002, De Reggi said, "I express myself in sculpture because I have a great passion for the material. Stone doesn’t give you the same freedom as a pencil but it’s the only one with such a strong soul that the exchange of sensations justifies the act of sculpting. I feel tied to organic stones; I like warm stones like Iranian travertine, calcareous stones, though I can work many other materials with the same passion."
Simone Batini was privileged to have had the chance to spend time with this accomplished artist and to be allowed to document his work process and his home environment in Italy. Art is a powerful form of expression that can bring people together from all over the world, creating a unique understanding and appreciation of different cultures. It is no wonder that art has an important place in many people’s lives, and this pictorial story is a testament to this. We invite you to explore and discover the photography of Simone Batini and the art of Emanuele De Reggi, as well as other artist’s works, to share in the beauty and power of art.
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